IMR Press / FBL / Volume 17 / Issue 6 / DOI: 10.2741/4047

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Regulatory roles for L-arginine in reducing white adipose tissue
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1 Research Center of Healthy Breeding of Livestock and Poultry and Key Laboratory for Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha, Hunan, China
2 Hunan Institute of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine, Changsha, Hunan, China 410131
3 State Key Laboratory of Animal Nutrition, College of Animal Science and Technology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China 100193
4 Department of Statistics, Texas A and M University, College Station, TX, USA 77843-3143
5 Department of Animal Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX, USA 77843-2471

Academic Editor: Guoyao Wu

Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2012, 17(6), 2237–2246;
Published: 1 June 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Amino acids in nutrition, health, and disease)

As the nitrogenous precursor of nitric oxide, L-arginine regulates multiple metabolic pathways involved in the metabolism of fatty acids, glucose, amino acids, and proteins through cell signaling and gene expression. Specifically, arginine stimulates lipolysis and the expression of key genes responsible for activation of fatty acid oxidation to CO2 and water. The underlying mechanisms involve increases in the expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1 alpha (PGC-1 alpha), mitochondrial biogenesis, and the growth of brown adipose tissue growth. Furthermore, arginine regulates adipocyte-muscle crosstalk and energy partitioning via the secretion of cytokines and hormones. In addition, arginine enhances AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) expression and activity, thereby modulating lipid metabolism and energy balance toward the loss of triacylglycerols. Growing evidence shows that dietary supplementation with arginine effectively reduces white adipose tissue in Zucker diabetic fatty rats, diet-induced obese rats, growing-finishing pigs, and obese patients with type II diabetes. Thus, arginine can be used to prevent and treat adiposity and the associated metabolic syndrome.

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